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  • Bob Burg

“Nothing short of fantastic. I would recommend, without reservation, Bob's program to any other sales professional.”

~ Allen L. Howard, CLU, General Manager, New York Life Insurance Company

Happiness: It’s Really A Personal Thing

February 28th, 2014 by Bob Burg

happinessIn a recent post, we explored happiness as being a person’s main motivation. And, that it can only be attained by acting in accordance with one’s values.

I then posed a few questions and received some excellent responses. I’d like to restate the questions here, and answer them per my own understanding.

1. How do we define happiness? One of my earlier mentors, Harry Browne, defined it as, “The mental feeling of well-being.” I agree, but take it just a bit further and say, “A genuine feeling of ongoing joy and peace of mind, the result of living in accordance with your values.”

The key in both definitions is an overall feeling rather than something temporary, though every decision we make in the moment is based on seeking happiness whether it be short or long-term. Which leads to the next question:

2. Is “a sense of” happiness different for different people? Absolutely! As Harry wrote in his wonderful book, The Secret of Selling Anything (which was as powerful a “life lesson” as it was a sales lesson), “Happiness is relative. People experience happiness in different ways. People place different values on different things. What brings happiness to one person is meaningless to another.”

This is why a big mistake leaders and salespeople make when desiring to influence others is to assume that what brings us happiness will necessarily bring them happiness. It is also why influence is always about them, not about us.

The final question was:

3. If one’s main motivation is happiness, then why do so many otherwise-intelligent people seem to make decisions that are obviously contrary to their  happiness?

While I’ve never been a big fan of cliff-hangers, let’s discuss this one in the next post. Any additional thoughts based on the above?

Your Inbox Empire – Wisdom from MaryEllen Tribby

February 25th, 2014 by Bob Burg

Two things I’ve learned about success in just over 56 years as a resident of this planet:

  1. It leaves clues. And…
  2. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

Success tends to occur as the result of very specific, predictable, principle-based reasons.

MaryEllen-TribbySo, when I got to meet one of my real-life action heroes, MaryEllen Tribby in person for the first time over lunch, and knowing of her huge past and current successes, I grilled her (with permission, of course…sort of) about her past.

Indeed, her very entrepreneurial beginnings at age 10 established a success pattern which she consciously continued while working her way through college and then while adding huge financial increase to the very large companies she worked with.

A couple of quick background accomplishments are: she led the growth of the online publication, Weiss Research to an increase of $55 million dollars in just one year. She then grew the inbox magazine, Early to Rise from $8 million to $26 million in just 15 months.

Now, as Founder and CEO of the hugely popular WorkingMomsOnly.com she’s done it again. And, just recently founded The CEO’s Edge.

Inbox-Empire-ProductHowever, when she told me about her newest project, Inbox Empire I asked HER if I could help her promote it.

Why? First, because I knew that for anyone who truly wanted their own lucrative online business and would be willing to learn from the master (that would be her), this would be of huge value. Secondly, because even a person was not interested in such, they could still learn a ton about business in general.

With that in mind, here’s a brief chat with MaryEllen where — after asking her to share with you some of those “learned-at-a-very-young-age” success principles that she shared with me over lunch — I ask her about a couple of very key mistakes that would-be entrepreneurs make, and how to avoid them. Please listen closely to this. Very important advice!

Then, I ask her to share her newest project with us.

Enjoy this very value-based chat with one of today’s true online business icons.

Wow! See why I have such high regard for Maryellen?! :-)

Have you made either of the two key mistakes she discussed that many new entrepreneurs make? If so, have you overcome them already? And, if not, how can you utilize her great suggestions in order to do so?

To access her exclusive training and learn more about her new Inbox Empire program visit www.InboxEmpire.com.


TECHNICAL NOTE: If you are having trouble playing the interview, please make sure Adobe Flash Player is installed in your web browser. If not, then download Flash Player. Or right-click here and select “Save Link As…” to download the audio file to your computer.

The Motivation of Happiness

February 19th, 2014 by Bob Burg

Happiness smiley faceRecently, on Twitter and on my Facebook page I posted:

“A person’s main motivation is happiness and this is only attained by acting in accordance with his or her values.”

While I personally believe this to be the case — and I think the statement is fairly intuitive — it does bring up a few questions:

  1. How do we define happiness?
  2. Is “a sense of” happiness different for different people?
  3. If one’s main motivation is happiness, then why do so many intelligent people seem to make decisions that are obviously contrary to their own happiness?

Believe it or not…I have my opinions on all three of the above ;-). And, in a future post, I’d like to take a deeper look at these.

Meanwhile, I’d love to know your thoughts or any one of them or even all three?

How to Let Someone Down Easily

February 10th, 2014 by Bob Burg

How to Let Someone Down EasilyThis post is longer than usual. And, while this reader’s situation might not be one you’ll ever have to face, someone you know — including your child — might.

Regardless, the principle involved should still come in handy in your dealings with others.


A college student, “Patty” wrote:

“I finished Adversaries into Allies and found it to be incredibly useful. While I was reading the section about saying no I thought of a scenario that wasn’t directly addressed and now find myself actually in it. I’m wondering how your advice for saying no translates into personal relationships. I’m in college and a boy in my class last semester asked me to get coffee. Thinking it was casual (telling myself it was casual) I agreed and we have been in e-mail contact ever since. He’s now referred to our correspondence as dating which, in my mind, it definitely is not. Is there a way to politely say no while still maintaining this new friendship?

My reply:

Thank you for your nice note and kind words about the book. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

Regarding your question, yes, that is always a difficult situation, regardless of age. Obviously, you don’t want to unintentionally lead your friend on to thinking that what you have is more than friendship but you also don’t want to needlessly hurt his feelings, and you’d like to keep him as a friend.

Depending upon whether you feel as though you could more kindly but effectively let him know by email or by phone, you can choose one or the other.

You could say or write something along the lines of…

“I was a bit surprised when you mentioned in a recent email that we were “dating.” While I appreciate your compliment, it’s not how I understand it. I hope you are okay with our just being friends, which I’d enjoy.”

If you’ll notice in the above, Patty, just as in the chapter about saying no, I didn’t include any excuses. Also, not knowing him personally and if he is rational (and, thus, can simply accept his mistake without feeling victimized and blaming you), I didn’t include any apology or add anything about you being the cause of the misunderstanding. Sometimes, it is okay to put the “onus” of the misunderstanding onto oneself even when that’s not really the case (in order for the other person to not feel defensive or blamed — remember the “I-Message”). But in this case I felt it best not to go that route so as not to give him something to grab onto. Again, just in case he is too emotional about it.

Yes, these are always difficult situations at best. I hope thinks work out. Please let me know.

Patty responded:

“Thank you so much for your advice. I emailed him and wrote almost exactly what you suggested and it worked perfectly. We are on the same page now and it wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable like I was imagining it would be. Thank you also for explaining why you didn’t include an excuse. My first instinct, even after reading your book, was to apologize for any misunderstanding because I wasn’t sure what other way to go but what you said made a lot of sense. Again, thank you for response.”

I wrote back:

My pleasure. I’m so glad it worked out! Indeed, it is very tempting (and certainly intuitive) to make an excuse or to blame oneself in that situation in order to let the other person down easily or take the pressure off. Very important in this case not to, again, only because in case he was irrational or had tendencies to be, I didn’t want to provide him with any emotional ammunition to blame you.

I remember many years ago reading a book about stalkers and one important piece of advice the author gave was that, with many of them, if you give them an excuse they’ll take that literally and believe that “if it weren’t for ________ she’d then want to be with me.”

In other words, if you say that it’s because you’re already involved with someone then they will think, “Well, if she wasn’t involved with him we could be together.” (Talk about dangerous.) If you say that you have a busy schedule then they’ll think, “When her schedule slows down we can be together.”

And, if you blame yourself for the misunderstanding, that can cause them to feel like, “oh, it’s all her fault, she deserves whatever happens.”

Of course, both are totally, totally illogical conclusions for the stalker to make but, by the very nature of what they are, logic doesn’t enter into the equation.

So, not that I’m thinking that your friend is a stalker, of course. Just not wanting to take any chances.

Sounds like you handled things perfectly.


{Note from Bob: Have you joined our Go-Givers International Membership Community? If not, visit www.GoGiversIntl.com and join us today. For just $19.97/month (for first 1000 members), our two monthly calls and closed discussion group can make a huge difference in both your business and personal success. Plus, check out the bonus gift just for joining!]

Making A Joke At Someone Else’s Expense

February 4th, 2014 by Bob Burg

Making A Joke At Someone Else's ExpenseAre you about to make a joke at someone else’s expense?

Here’s my suggestion:

First, think about it for a moment…..

Then, wait a bit…..

Think about it some more…..

Now, wait just a bittttt more…..

Now…………………….DON’T DO IT!

Nope, don’t do it. No upside (other than perhaps a fleeting moment of false superiority).

Huge downside, including — but not limited to — hurting another human being’s feelings; making yourself look bad; destroying trust with the target of the joke; losing trust (thus influence) with those who are witness to, or hear about, the insult; and being disliked without a principle-based reason for it.

If you MUST make a joke at someone’s expense, make sure it’s at your expense.

And, remember, if say something to someone that you meant to be harmlessly funny and then find yourself having to say, “I was only kidding” then it probably wasn’t funny in the first place.

Your thoughts?